December 2018 - Issue #77
Dear Chamber Members & Friends,

As this year winds to a close we'd like to thank you, all of our members, and the community for supporting us in 2018. We look forward to working with our members to create strong businesses and even more community collaboration in 2019.

We're happy to announce Leadership Keweenaw beginning in January. This is a great, affordable way to start the year off right and develop new, life-changing skills for yourself or an employee. We will provide you with the steps to design your life, create a roadmap of your goals, and hear from leaders in the community who are experts in various fields. This program builds our leadership talent of all ages to positively impact our economy, environment, and society.

As you look towards the New Year, we'd love for this program to be a part of you or your employee's development plan. We look forward to working with you and for you in the coming year. We are your Chamber!

All the best,

Whitney Warstler
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
Top Chamber Supporters
Welcome New Chamber Members
Please support our Chamber Member Businesses!
Northern Specialty Health, takes their role in the community very seriously. They view themselves as a wellness center, as well as a medical provisional center. Their goal is to support their customers in their search for quality, affordable medication in a safe, serene atmosphere.

Visit their website and Facebook to learn more!
Started in 1975, the Canal Run is the premier running event in the Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. The event offers 5 races for runners and walkers of all levels. 

Visit their website and Facebook to learn more!
Thank you for renewing your membership
Advance-Tec Body Repair
Ambassador Restaurant
Associate - Steve Karpiak
Baraga Telephone
Bucko's Party Store
Champion Welding Alloys
City of Houghton
Copper Country Insurance Agency
Copper World
Cross Country Sports
D & L Janitorial Services, Inc.
Dapple Gray Bed & Breakfast and Antiques
David Monticello
Dial Help, Inc.
Downtowner Lounge & Motel
DP Construction
Eagle River Sunset House
Frank A Douglass Agency
Gardenview Assisted Living & Memory Care
Gartner's Gallery
Horner Flooring Company
League of Women Voters of the Copper Country
McGann Building Supply
MD Contracting, Inc.
Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union
Mike Lahti State Farm Insurance
New Power Tour
Northern Light Cottages
Osceola Township
Pat's Foods and Festival Foods
Peterlin Distributing
Portage Quilt House
Quincy Dining Co.
Ramada Waterfront
REL Machine Inc.
Sherwin Williams Company
Superior Graphics
Suomi Restaurant
Superior National Bank & Trust
Superior Tax and Accounting Services
Swift True Value Hardware
The Guys' Place- A Hair Salon for Men
Upward Talent Council
U.P. Engineers & Architects
U.P. Kids
Waste Management, Inc.
Xpress Self Storage
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Business After Hours
Schedule yours today!
Are you interested in hosting a Business After Hours?

Business After Hours is a monthly networking event that focuses on bringing together Chamber members and prospective members to develop professional relationships in a relaxed environment. 

Sponsoring a Business After Hours event is an excellent way to showcase your facilities and services, get people through your door, and a great way to market your business.

If you're interested in hosting a Business After Hours in 2019, please send us an email at or call us at 906-482-5240.

We hope to have 2019 scheduled soon!
Mark Your Calendars!
Upcoming Chamber Events
Enrollment starting NOW!
To be a leader, you must first know yourself, then your community. Leadership Keweenaw is the ideal program for preparing our leaders of tomorrow. This programs builds our leadership talent to positively impact our economy, environment, and society.

This Program will provide you with the steps to design your life, create a roadmap of your goals, and hear from leaders in the community who are experts in various fields. The Program has a component focused on the Design Your Life program, the New York Times best selling book on how to build a well lived life. It also aims to integrate participants into our community.

Limited spots are available to attend this program.

To learn more about this program and to apply visit our website .
The Keweenaw Community Sparkplug Awards will be held on Thursday, March 7, 2019, from 5:30-8:30 pm at the Bonfire Steakhouse. Nominations will open at the beginning of January and will remain open until January 31, 2019.
Everyone in the community is encouraged to submit nominations for businesses, organizations, projects and individuals that have made significant strides in the community throughout 2018. 
Nominations are sought in the following categories: 
  • Growth 
  • Customer Service
  • Innovation / Transformation 
  • Community Contributor
  • Project of the Year
  • Young Professional of the Year 

The Keweenaw Community Spark Plug Awards is a celebration that recognizes local businesses, organizations, community projects, and individuals for their efforts during the past year. It is a collaborative event organized and hosted by the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, MTEC SmartZone, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA), and Keweenaw Young Professionals (KYP).
Event Recaps
November 7th : The Keweenaw Young Professionals (KYP) hosted an Autumn Mixer (part of our Business After Hours series), which gave attendees a chance to mix and mingle with other professionals in our community, and had a chance to learn what KYP is all about.

Are you interested in hosting a Business After Hour s ? Contact us today!
November 13th: Presenter Lisa Liimatta the Co-Founder of Rise Leadership Circle, LLC gave attendees a great presentation on "Creating a Service Driven Culture", where attendees had a chance to learn the secrets to creating a service driven culture resulting in a unique customer experience no matter what industry you’re in. Implement innovative no cost, or low cost solutions that can dramatically increase your bottom line, create low turnover rates for employees and make you stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Lunch & Learns are offered monthly.

Sponsored by: Keweenaw Co-op
December 4th: Our Annual Meeting & Elections held earlier this month at the Bluffs Senior Living Community. During the event attendees got a chance to here from Board President, Brian Donnelly, and Director, Whitney Warstler.

We are happy to welcome one re-elected board member representing Keweenaw County, Jan Cole with Edochi, LLC

We will also be welcoming three new board members starting January 2019, Todd Gast of Keweenaw Co-Op, Will Schuett of UP Health System - Portage, and Brad Barnett of WUPPDR and Apple Blossom Mercantile.
December 15th: We held our first Gingerbread "Graham Cracker" Workshop this past Saturday. We were visited by Santa and his elf, and everyone had a great time making houses!

We would like to extend a big thank you to Walmart-Houghton for donating supplies.
December 20th: Presenter Dr. Steve Patchin gave attendees a great presentation on “Design Thinking in Business” where attendees got a chance to learn about how Designers create worlds and solve problems using design thinking. The same design thinking responsible for amazing technology, products, and spaces can be used to design and build your career and your life, a life of fulfillment and joy, constantly creative and productive, one that always holds the possibility of surprise.

Lunch & Learns are offered monthly.

Sponsored by: Keweenaw Co-op
Member Spotlight:
Give us some background on yourself/your business.
Apple Blossom Mercantile (Apple Blossom) is a gift shop in downtown Houghton specializing in exceptional gifts to treat yourself or someone else. From bath bombs, to hilarious birthday cards, to quirky home décor and indulgent chocolates, we prioritize Michigan and USA-made items accompanied by personalized assistance and a smile. Apple Blossom is owned by Brad and Erin Barnett and their eight year old daughter Eleanor. Eleanor is in the second grade at Houghton Elementary and loves swimming, Girl Scouts, and creating artistic masterpieces.
How many years have you been in business?
We started our business in March of 2017. So this makes our second holiday season!

What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
We have the best view in town of Mont Ripley for Winter Carnival fireworks!

Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Every business is different and has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. But we’d recommend connecting with other business owners in the area. A lot of business owners like to share their experiences, and you can learn from their mistakes and successes. There are also a lot of good economic development related organizations out there like the Chamber, the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance, the Small Business Development Center, and others. They have a lot of services they can offer new businesses.
What brought you to the area?
Erin and I are transplant Yoopers. We moved from Richmond, KY in 2013 to pursue a degree at Tech. Erin has family ties to the U.P., and she traveled with her family to the region for years on summer vacations. We thought we’d be in Houghton for a few years and leave after I completed the degree. But we fell in love with the area and decided that we can’t imagine living anywhere else.

What keeps you here?
We love the Keweenaw! This is a wonderful place to raise a family, and we really enjoy hiking all the local trails and boating on the Canal. This area is truly a hidden gem.

What are your business's goals?
Erin and I are entrepreneurs at heart. Apple Blossom is our first foray into small business ownership, but I doubt it’ll be our last. I think we’d like to grow Apple Blossom’s online presence and tap into more business-to-business retail sales. But at its core, Apple Blossom is about offering gifts our in-store customers are proud to give. We want to continue to work with our Michigan and U.P. based vendors to bring new gifts and treats to the Houghton area! Who knows? Maybe a second store location is in the future! 

How does being in this community affect your business?
This community places value on resiliency and locally sourced products, which is why you see small, local businesses that have been thriving for decades. Being somewhat isolated, the community rallies to support its own, as we saw following the Father’s Day flood. As transplants to the area, we are grateful that those with deeper roots have embraced our family and our business.
Is your business/organization interested in being in our member spotlight? Contact us for more details!
Your Opportunity to Learn More
Contact the Chamber for free access to Skillshare
Member Events
Is your business or organization having an upcoming event? Send us your flyer and we will include it in our newsletter - Email: Also - be sure to post your events on our community calendar!
Are you familiar with Keweenaw Cash?
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is pleased to offer Keweenaw Cash: a gift certificate program that can be used at more than 300 Chamber member businesses. Since its launch, the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has issued over $341,000 worth of Keweenaw Cash. That money goes right back into local businesses!

Keweenaw Cash can be purchased in any denomination, allowing the recipient more flexibility and enabling them to use the certificates at numerous businesses.

In addition to making great gifts, businesses can purchase Keweenaw Cash as bonuses, prizes, at fundraising events, as employee incentives or awards, retirement gifts, to mark a milestone, or as part of a welcome package for new hires.

Certificates come with an envelope and a list of all the participating businesses.
Please note we require at least a 24 hour notice when placing orders. We are not responsible for any lost or stolen certificates.

If you are a business and would be interested in being able to redeem Keweenaw Cash, please look into a   becoming a member   with the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce.

For additional information about Keweenaw Cash, to purchase certificates, or how you can accept Keweenaw Cash, call  906-482-5240  or email
Does your business have brochures?
Board of Directors
Brian Donnelly, President
Financial Service Representative
Superior National Bank

James Desrochers - Treasurer
Associate Director, Industry Relations
Michigan Technological University

Karin Van Dyke, Secretary
Vice President for Advancement
Finlandia University

Morgan Impola
Regional Engineer

Mary Myers
Account Executive
Carrie Richards
Partner Engagement Program Manager
Michigan Technological University

Angela Luskin
Health and Fitness Manager
UP Health System-Portage

Jan Cole
Managing Partner
Edochi, LLC

Marilyn Clark
MTEC SmartZone

Matt Thyer
Up and Running Technology Solutions
Our roots run deep in the Keweenaw
Upper Peninsula Power Company was created in 1947 through a merger of three utilities. One of them, the Houghton County Electric Light Company, earlier acquired the interests of Peninsula Electric Light and Power, which began operating in the Keweenaw in 1884 – just five years after Edison invented the light bulb.
From the Edison bulb to high-tech electronics of today, you might say UPPCO has been providing “ U.P. Power ” for more than 130 years. 
Customer Service
( 800-562-7680 )
24-Hour Electric Emergencies/Outages
Outage Updates
News @uppcopower
Safe & Reliable Service
Renewable Hydroelectric Generation
With Public Recreational Opportunities
Proud Community Supporter

Learn more at
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce
902 College Ave, Houghton, MI 49931